Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Review

4.0
October 5, 2012 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

Noise

Throughout the test we were impressed with how good the pictures looked on the screen of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80. We couldn't wait to get back to the computer to check them on a bigger screen. Low ISO pictures look good until they're drilled down into and spots of green colour can be seen in the darker areas of our test images. Edge definition is good though while mid range levels and highlights are smooth enough.

As the ISO ratings get higher, noise reduction software kicks in because the noise isn't as bad at even ISO 200. Images start to soften a little at ISO 400 and blue colour joins the green to assault the darker areas and it can even be seen creeping into the mid-range areas. Saturation starts to sap out slightly at ISO 800 and the images smooth out as noise reduction ups the ante to keep it under control. The final ISO 1600 setting has invasive colour all over and edge definition is waning. However, we've seen much worse at this setting from other, more expensive cameras so comparably it's a good performance.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Below are samples of the images straight from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 and with sharpening added in Adobe Photoshop. We think the camera benefits from a basic boost definitely but it's a close line and if you start messing with the Unsharp Mask it could go too far.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (4.62Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (3.15Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We found traces of chromatic aberration in various pictures we took, less so on the high contrast edges.

Chromatic 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 gets sufficiently close to the subject for reasonable close up pictures. Pictures are detailed enough but the lens does suffer from distortion towards the edges.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash centres in the middle of the frame with light falling off to the edges. This leaves a slight vignette at the corners. At full zoom the same issue is prevalent but without the vignetting. Without flash, the vignetting disappears.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (120mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (120mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Both the Forced On setting or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction option caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

Taking long exposures can be done either in auto mode using ISO 100 or by putting the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 into night mode in the scenes menu. The advantage of the former is that you can control the white-balance. One issue with long exposures is that they create a particular type of noise from the pixels heating up and affecting neighbouring pixels. In our tests, the FX80 suffers from it.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

   

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, 12 megapixel, hdmi, beginner, 5x zoom, touch-screen, lumix, touch screen, touchscreen, panasonic, AVCHD, fx80, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Review, dmc fx80, dmc-fx80

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